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DirectX 11 Coming To Browser Games 200

arcticstoat writes "Forget Farmville, Flash puzzlers and 8-bit home computer emulators. The next generation of browser games will be able to take advantage of DirectX 11 effects, not to mention multi-core processing and both Havok and PhysX physics effects. A new browser plug-in called WebVision will be available for Trinergy's new game engine, Vision Engine 8. This will enable game developers to port all the advanced effects from the game engine over to all the common browsers. Of course, any budding 3D-browser-game dev will face the problem that not every PC has a decent graphics card that can handle advanced graphics effects. Not only that, but limited bandwidth will also limit what effects a developer can realistically implement into a browser game. Nevertheless, this is an interesting development that could result in some tight 3D programming, as well as some much more interesting browser games."
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DirectX 11 Coming To Browser Games

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  • by SplashMyBandit ( 1543257 ) on Wednesday February 24, 2010 @04:56AM (#31256924)
    3D graphics is bandwidth intensive, especially for textures. 3D accelerated postage stamps just won't be that compelling. Procedural textures are vastly smaller but are rather labour intensive to create. While this is a nice concept it won't be replacing downloaded 3D content anytime soon. I have enough trouble convincing people to wait for a 2MB Java applet that's downloaded once and cached with WebStart.
  • Spyware on my GPU (Score:5, Interesting)

    by SpazmodeusG ( 1334705 ) on Wednesday February 24, 2010 @05:09AM (#31257004)
    Shaders these days are fully programmable and DirectX allows access to them. I can't see any reason why a shader run off of a webpage couldn't do whatever it wants.
    Graphics cards don't have any privilege ring security like x86s do. They simply trust that whatever shader that is sent to run on them is as trusted as the application running on the CPU that sends them the shader.
    With this plan your browser will be sending your graphics card shaders to run from whatever website you visit.

    Either they are going to have to prune the API down a lot before it is safe (without shaders you may as well be using an earlier version of DirectX), or they are going to have a security nightmare.
  • Re:Slashvertisment? (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 24, 2010 @05:30AM (#31257090)

    I'm not aware of Unity having a Linux port.

    It's actually pretty irritating, because they get a ton of free press (and free code) from the open source Mono community, but they can't be bothered to support open source operating systems.

  • by pmfa ( 842853 ) on Wednesday February 24, 2010 @06:16AM (#31257320) Homepage

    The Panda 3d engine has a BSD license, and you use python to develop the games. They recently released a browser plugin too []. Their runtime works in Windows, Linux, Mac OS X, and of course the iPhone.

    This is the way to go, to get the most platforms covered as possible. Everyone is drooling about their new iPhone/iPad or Android phone or whatever. Mobile is not the next big thing, it's the big thing right now. With a Direct X 11 browser plugin you're achieving very little, what's the use? Halo, the Internet Explorer edition?

  • Re:Spyware on my GPU (Score:3, Interesting)

    by SpazmodeusG ( 1334705 ) on Wednesday February 24, 2010 @06:16AM (#31257324)
    I have made DirectX games a long time ago but apart from simple examples i haven't looked into shaders much. I actually had a look just then and you are right. Obviously by design they don't allow any shaders (even the compute shaders) to access memory using pointers. So you can't arbitrarily write to some memory location on the system bus as i feared. It's obvious they wouldn't allow that even on trusted applications as your could break the whole trust system locally even. I feel silly now.

    I still have an issue of the DirectX API as a whole running through the browser though.
    Let me put it this way; this game API allows you to write a game, get inputs from the user, presumably via DirectX's direct input (it does imply full DirectX11 support in the blurb) and send out network outputs based on those inputs. Now i know for a fact Direct Input is very useful for capturing all keyboard input, if a key is down direct input can record that even if the current application is running in the background. Perfect for a keylogger.
    There's so many little things like this they'll have to deal with before exposing the DirectX API to the web.

Mathemeticians stand on each other's shoulders while computer scientists stand on each other's toes. -- Richard Hamming